Chapter 10:

Heated Delivery - Part 2


Anna was now sitting by the side of the weird package she had attained while injecting herself with a bright golden syringe. Even if the fight was easy, she still was outside of her expertise when fighting multiple opponents, so some wounds were expected.

A single dose of elixir would be enough to fix her up though.

“I can’t believe I messed up like this.” She said to herself while enduring the multiplied pain of her wounds closing.

Her burned-out arm and the scrape wound had soon vanished at the expense of having her feel very sluggish, as usual, so it was better to avoid fights for a while. The fact that inquisitors could create a wonder drug but could never deal with the dumb side effects always made her confused...

The barrier was still up though, so waiting for a little shouldn’t be a problem…

“It’ll be a shameful report if all I got was some illegal collector’s piece, so gimme somethin' 'ere...” One of Annabeth’s hands covered her blue-colored eye and she focused her other one on the big stone gear by her feet. “Oho! Lucky me… Or maybe not actually.”

Luckily or not, the stone thingy that looked like a gear was shining to her. It was a shine she couldn’t recognize and neither find the source, but it was still enough to point out that there was something magical in it.

Her eye would never lie about magic and spiritual energy, so she was sure this wasn't a common item. And since it was a magical item, Anna could save face when explaining why she left almost half a dozen bodies in the slums.

She should find her real contact still. Going forward without what she came to collect would be a disaster.

With this much in mind, the redhead bagged the stone gear and also made sure to recover all her bullet's empty cylinders to reload them later. As she was doing so, the only remaining figure around the area she hadn’t considered as a civilian started to move closer from the shady bar in the alley.

It took a while for whatever it was to get close enough, but the inquisitor still kept her hand at the sheathed gun and her guard up all the while. Being taken by surprise after all that talk would be quite sad too.

“All fine there, lass?” The approaching man asked when he saw Anna moving around the messed-up street.

He was barely taller than Karim, a little fat and somewhat bald, with some impressive sideburns and almost black-colored eyes, all seemingly inoffensive for some reason. His outlook meant nothing to the banished arch-inquisitor though.

“Just a clean-up. Nothin' to worry about…” She answered without even leaving the handle of her gun.

“Don’t worry about it, lass. The most I saw here was some self-defense and even that is very forgettable...” He continued with a smile. “Should I bring your package while I’m forgetting about it though?”

“So it was the shady pub… I should’ve seen it comin'.” She reached into her shorts and got her reserves out. “No extra fees, 'aight?”

“I’m a worker here. Unless someone tells me to change the price, what was agreed is what I’ll get.”

“That’s why I like proper deals instead of shady ones…”

She threw the money pellet toward the man with as much strength as she could, and he took it without even moving his eyes.

“In front of the pub, right beneath the empty bottles. No need to rush, ok?” He said before turning back to the alley without even checking how much he had received.

“The best ones are always friendly… What a waste.” Anna muttered while returning to her cleaning up and letting the fat A-threat leave unbothered. A few minutes later, the bodies were neatly piled in a corner, all cylinders were back in their bag and she had retrieved both the package and the barrier.

To be sure that it was the right one though, she immediately took a look inside the cardboard box she had in her hands. To her amazement, it was filled with multicolored rings and golden vials, more of them than she had expected even.

“It’s funny how the best way to get outlawed goods is to work with who outlaws 'em.” The redhead commented to no one in particular while setting one of the catalysts on her middle finger. “Now, to the ware...”

She had to stop mid-sentence as something weird caught her attention though. New presences had entered her perception's range and these made the redhead notice a little detail she had ignored before...

It was something minor, but this minor something still made her return to the alley in search of a secondary path. All she found was a closed sign in front of the pub though.

With amazement at the owner’s foresight, she turned once again and walked towards the approaching shining bulbs with a small smirk in face. 

She could feel three figures slowly approaching the recycling plant. The way they moved around was a sign that they weren’t just some random bystanders and they had enough spiritual energy to be a problem. A-level at least.

As it had hit the red-haired girl just a few seconds before, these should be the people who wanted the wrong package to begin with. Be it as it was, messing up clients wouldn’t happen if the wrong person had arrived far from the delivery time.

If Anna thought a little, it would be obvious that the real buyers would arrive soon enough. Not noticing this much was very stupid of her, but Annabeth Solomon was a person who wouldn’t dwell on the small details for long. 

The real problem here was that these three weren’t small fries like the ones from before and she wasn’t carrying that much firepower this time. Even more, she had to try to keep a low profile for the time being, so it was even more troublesome.

“Flee, talk or go all-out… All sounds terrible.” She muttered to herself while trying to decide on something.

Fleeing was risky both because she wouldn’t be able to use her barrier, meaning that everyone would hear the fighting, and because she wasn’t that fast for supernatural standards.

Talking was a gamble no matter how she looked at it and would entail acting meekly to demons, so that was a no too.

Lastly, going all-out had half the problems of the first one, everyone would hear it even if a little quieter, with an added one of showing her hand too soon.

“Damn it then.”

With a bothered last line, Anna swapped her revolver’s barrel to a black one with inscriptions made in silver. She also stuffed two other rings on her shorts and an extra cylinder before strapping the shoulder bag as tightly as possible.

All left was to get her hands on the trolley bag and take a deep breath as all her tattoos started to shine at the same time. Then she threw the thing into the air and charged.

“And up ya go!”

A flying bag turned itself into a pole-like artifact once more and then encrusted itself right in front of the advancing figures as it fell. The sudden thud made them fire in reflex at the moving figure, but their blind shooting would never hit Anna. 

The next thing the three figures noticed were the bolts of golden energy curving towards them.